With spring time just around the corner, many New Jersey homeowners will find themselves wishing they would have invested in pest control. Termites can cause up to 5 billion dollars in damage alone, every year in the United States. Before telling you how you can protect yourself, you must first understand your enemy.
Since there are many different types of termites: Dampwood Termites, Drywood Termites, Formosan Termites, and Subterranean Termites; it’s really important to understand what is inviting them in. Usually Dampwood Termites can be found in the forests colonizing on a piece of rotting wet wood, however, if you have leaking pipes in your house, they might also end up colonizing there too. Unlike the Dampwood Termites, the other three types would find it rather inviting to eat the dry wood in your house. Contrary to popular belief, termites don’t eat just wood, they will also eat wallpaper and any plastics or cloths made from plants. They don’t always colonize in the wood of a house, the Subterranean Termites set up camp in the soil. This can put a lot of house frames at risk since they may be stabilized with wood.
No matter what termite you are dealing with, they are all very destructive and many people undermine the severity of damage they can cause. Since a lot of the destruction that these pesky bugs do can take an upward of 5 years, they typically go unnoticed and by that point the foundation of the home is at great risk. Thankfully there are ways to prevent and control them.
The best way to prevent inviting these unwanted visitors into your home, is to make sure that any openings to your house are sealed –and not with wood. Caulk can be an effective remedy or small cracks and openings that need sealed, while bigger openings need a different approach. Depending on where they are coming in at there are different ways to seal the problem, but the best way to fix this would be to call a professional.
Since Subterranean Termites need to be in contact to the soil it is also advised that any wood structures of a house be 6 inches above the ground and that gardens with mulch are several feet away from the house.
Other ways of preventing termites is to not leave dead wood lying around in a close vicinity to the house, fixing any leaks in or around the building, and spraying chemicals around the boarder of the house.
With a suspected termite infestation it is very crucial to track it down. Some tell-tale signs of an infestation are sagging floors and holes or hollowness in walls. Sometimes, even after looking high and low there is still no sighting of termites, in this case calling a local pest prevention company in New Jersey to come out and inspect the house is a safe alternative.
Many homeowners get the news that they don’t want to hear, they have termites. Luckily, if they don’t want to resort to getting an exterminator, there are a few effective at home treatments. One of the most effective treatments is to get beneficial nematodes; a small worm that finds the termite larvae and kills them usually within 48 hours. Not only is this a great alternative to an exterminator, but they can be purchased at almost any garden supply shop for a decently reasonable price. Another chemical-free solution is to expose the wood to sunlight. If the infestation is on wood or furniture rather than in a home, this would probably be one of the easiest fixes. Termites thrive on cooler-damp temperatures so exposing them to sunlight and heat for 2-3 days would be a sure death sentence. Along with the heat, freezing the termites would work too. Since there is a little bit of time before spring and the days are still cold, leaving furniture outside for a few days would be fine too.
If all else fails there will always be chemical treatments to kill the pests. Termite repellants can be bought at any home improvement stores. As with any chemical remedies, there is good and bad. They are typically strong enough to take care of the problem but the off-gasses from them can be harmful if breathed in. Usually pest control companies have better chemical treatments so they may be able to take care of the problem a little more effectively.
Termites are a liability that can happen to anyone, but the good thing is they are preventable. Welcome summer the right way and protect your home from unwanted guests.